Some very good news today out of Michigan:
Biden leads Trump by 12 points, with 53 percent support compared to Trump’s 41 percent, according to a EPIC-MRA poll reported by The Detroit Free Press on Sunday.
Biden’s lead in the latest poll is double his 6-point lead over the president in a poll conducted by EPIC-MRA in January, when Biden had 50 percent support compared to Trump’s 44 percent.
The majority of independent voters, a key bloc in the battleground state, said they are backing Biden, with sixty-three percent saying the support the former vice president and 23 percent saying they support Trump, the newspaper reported.
The same poll found that the majority of likely Michigan voters said they were not pleased with Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic is not helping him in Michigan, according to the poll of 600 likely voters, which was conducted by live callers and included 40% cellphone participation. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Asked about Trump's handling of the pandemic, 58% gave him a negative rating, 41% gave him a positive rating, and 1% were undecided, or refused to say.
In other poll findings:
- 63% say the country is heading in the wrong direction, up from 50% in January.
- If the election was held today, 51% would vote to replace Trump, up from 44% in January.
- Independent voters, who often decide Michigan elections, are backing Biden over Trump, 63-23.
- U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Bloomfield Township, leads Republican challenger John James of Farmington Hills, 51-36, with 13% undecided or refusing to say.
- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer got a job performance rating of 55% positive and 43% negative, up from 43-50 in January. And 60% gave her good marks for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Of those surveyed, 43% identified as Democrats and 38% as Republicans.
Joe Biden still has a long way to go to earn Nicole Small's respect.
Small, a human resources worker in Detroit and vice chair of the commission that considers revisions to the city's charter, said she was furious after the presumptive Democratic nominee's “then you ain’t black” gaffe last month — and that he hasn’t done “nearly enough yet” in responding to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
And yet, Small, who is black, says Biden has earned her vote.
“I will chew on nails dipped in acid before I vote for Donald Trump or don’t vote at all, or let my friends and colleagues vote for Trump or not vote at all,” she said.
In Michigan, a key 2020 battleground, quickly changing circumstances brought on by the coronavirus have kept the still-nascent general election race in flux — effects likely to be felt through November. Frustration over President Donald Trump's response to a pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 Americans and caused the unemployment rate to spike to record highs threatens to alter the political tides in other swings states, including Florida and Pennsylvania.
But interviews with voters like Small — as well as with former lawmakers, political strategists, activists, journalists and political experts in Michigan — indicate that what may impact the election here more than anything is how the lives of black Americans in particular have been upended by what Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley called a “pandemic within a pandemic”: black people sickening and dying of COVID-19 at disproportionate rates while suffering from the epidemic of police brutality currently being protested in the streets.
Biden, who has enjoyed strong levels of support from African American voters throughout the campaign, stands to benefit politically, they said. But given what happened in 2016 — when polls showed that Michigan was also Hillary Clinton’s to lose, and then she lost it — black voters and Democratic political strategistswarned that Biden must do more to appeal to and turn out African American voters in order to compete with the white working class contingent Trump so adeptly mobilized in 2016, and who could turn out en masse for him again.
“The African American community is motivated to come out to have Trump removed. Unlike when Hillary was running, no one truly knew how bad Trump could be,” said LaMar Lemmons, a former Democratic member of the Michigan state House. “The pandemic was really the last straw for many people. Of course now we’re talking about the protests, but Trump’s nonresponse to the pandemic has really alienated the African American community.”
“But if he [Biden] really wants to be sure he’s reaching voters, and reaching black voters, he needs to come here and campaign,” added Lemmons, who remains a political activist in Detroit.
Let’s make sure Biden has the resources to get out the vote big time in Michigan. Click here to donate and get involved with Biden and his fellow Michigan Democrats campaigns: